Welcome to Chew The Fat, I am so pleased you have found me.
My name is Paula Holdt, I am a certified PreKure Health Coach with training in the theory and practice of Low Carb and Ketogenic nutrition. Lifestyle medicine and habit change. I am passionate about the benefits of adopting a lower carb lifestyle and advocate for a well formulated nutrition plan that is centred around whole and unprocessed foods.
I am also wife to Grant, Mum to 3 boys and their partners and nana to 4 grandchildren. I have an amazing family including my parents and sisters who are all my motivation and inspiration to learn and grow.
My purpose is to help as many people understand their bodies internal processors, and how the food you consume makes a difference to how optimally that system works. I want to guide you to restore your health, weight, mental health and motivation to move more and live well.
How can I do that?
By using the PreKure “Lifestyle Guidelines” we will work in partnership to create individual plans for you, or you can purchase preplanned options right here from my subscriptions page. PreKure has the philosophy that “Prevention is the Cure” And I whole heartily agree with this mindset. We believe that “Food is medicine” and “Lifestyle is medicine”
Why did I become a Health Coach and more specifically A Low Carb/Keto coach?
Well, it starts about 8 or so years ago when I worked as a beauty therapist and owned a day spa. I have always had a preference to work in a natural, holistic way and I researched products and treatments that would suit my style. As it happens I had to retrain myself and my mindset to understand skin health through a nutritional lens and this opened my eyes and mind to a whole new concept that’s now become widely recognised in the beauty industry, which is that “beauty comes from the inside out”
What does that mean? Well for your skin to be in beautiful condition and functioning well you need to feed it from the inside. Our new skin cells are made from the nutrition we feed it and then protected from environmental damage by the products we put on top of it, working together.
Taking that further than skin, our brains, internal organs and nerves, muscles, bones and connective tissues are no different to our skin, after all your skin is the biggest organ of the body. So through my work with clients to restore, rejuvenate and protect their skin I came across many stumbling blocks and frustrations, Why could I get such great results with some of my clients but not all.
What it came down to, were what I call my “5 pillars of health”:
When Clients had a good understanding of and practiced the 5 pillars consistently then we really started to see results. I was onto a winning formula.
In 2017 my husband Grant was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumour, I sold my business and we journeyed down a two year path of Public Health systems, surgery, specialists, physical rehabilitation, mental rehabilitation, medications and repeat hospital admissions… Phew! It was mind boggling, stressful, emotional and overwhelming!
Because of the damage the tumour has done to Grants nerves and as a result of surgery he has been left with chronic nerve pain and movement restrictions, mostly from inflammation.
Grant was on 18 different medications a day, 1 for this and 1 for that and then another one to reduce the side effects of the first one, and not to mention the weight gain from all the medications and sudden loss of mobility…. WHAT? There had to be a better way! This surely couldn’t be how our lives would play out.
We saw all the specialists available to us and it was disappointing that not one of them talked about diet and nutrition as the foundation to rebuild health. The food that came out on the hospital tray was testament to the total lack of understanding of the diet required to rebuild and restore health in any patient with any health issue. So one night while we were in the ICU ward and incredibly frustrated with how his quality of life was being effected, one of his amazing nurses boldly stated that, “It was time to take matters into your own hands” and with that, off I went on a marathon of research and question asking, experimenting and being brave enough to start questioning some of the decisions that were being made. We very quickly realised that to regain health we needed to take control of his health and make changes that created the environment that encouraged his body to be able to be the best it could be after such a massive life changing experience.
I quickly remembered how I was able to get great results with skin using the 5 pillars of health and I transferred that practice into Grant’s rehabilitation and sort out professionals that would get on board with us when it was outside of our scope.
The first thing we did was change his diet to a therapeutic Ketogenic diet to reduce inflammation and give the body every chance to rebuild and recover. Along with mindfulness and lifestyle changes that saw Grant needing to adopt a slower pace and a more mindful approach we have started to make progress. He is still a work in progress and he needs to consistently work at the pillars because of his condition, but the results speak for themselves.
Grant dropped 15kgs, he no longer takes any prescribed medications and his blood glucose levels have returned to normal. Because I adopted the same eating plan as Grant I too dropped 12 kgs, and my asthma has all but disappeared. My mental clarity has improved and we both have more energy than we have had in years.
These results were being noticed by friends and family and so when asked, I helped them to practice the 5 pillars of health starting with reducing the carbohydrates in their diets. But I needed to now more about the science and more about how to help people change their habits. I decided to retrain as a Health Coach with advanced LCHF/Ketogenic nutrition science and practice.
I now have the tool box to truly set clients up with a well formulated plan to regain their health, be it weight loss, auto immune diseases, pre diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Cardio Vascular risk, PCOS, Mental Health or Fitness. I can guide you to be the beat version of you while preventing illness and disease and preserving your health. I know that this lifestyle works, I have seen the lives of friends and family change for the better and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to catch up with the benefits that a lifestyle of “Food as medicine” can give.
Live well, and remember “Prevention is Cure”
WHY LOW CARB?
A well formulated diet that consists of whole and unprocessed foods will generally give you a lower carbohydrate (carb) diet by default. Nutrition certainly isn’t the only piece of your health puzzle, we must also always consider, movement, sleep, connections and mental health. For now however lets look at some of the science behind why low carb nutrition forms a foundation for all the other pillars to stand upon.
All foods fall into one of 3 categories that we call Macronutrients:
When we break these foods down through our digestive system, they then get converted and work in different ways for the requirements of your body. Foods also have micronutrients which are your vitamins, minerals and trace elements which are also really important for optimal body function. But we are going to focus for now on the Macro nutrients. Lets break them down and talk about their roles in the body. The important thing to note here is which macronutrients are broken down into “essential nutrients” meaning the body can’t make them on its own and so we need to consume them for optimal health.
When we eat fats and the digestive system breaks them down, they become “Essential Fatty Acids” or EFAs.
When we eat fats and the digestive system breaks them down, they become “Essential Fatty Acids” or EFAs.
The role of EFAs in the body are as follows. EFAs are a special type of “good fat”. They are also essential nutrients; sometimes called vitamin F. Essential nutrients are necessary for life, but must be obtained through diet because the body cannot make them. EFAs are required for the proper structure and function of every cell in the body, and are important for optimal health. EFAs increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals; nourish the skin, hair and nails; promote proper nerve functioning; help produce hormones; ensure normal growth and development; and prevent and treat disease. EFA deficiency is common today because of modern dietary and lifestyle choices, and environmental factors, EFA deficiency can eventually lead to disease and even death. EFA deficiency has been identified in many diseases including mental disorders, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, eczema, PMS, immune dysfunction, and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. EFAs may help improve these conditions.
Some examples of sources of good quality EFAs are olive and avocado oil, fatty fish, avocado, nuts & seeds.
In summary Fat or EFAs are an “essential” macronutrient for your body because the body cannot produce it, therefore we need to consume good quality fats to provide the body with its requirement.
When we consume protein, the body breaks it down into 9 “essential amino acids”. Amino acids are the bodies building blocks.
Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called essential amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein. The body must obtain the 9 essential amino acids from dietary sources.
Types of protein:
Complete proteins: These foods contain all the essential amino acids. They mostly occur in animal foods, such as meat, dairy, and eggs.
Incomplete proteins: These foods contain at least one essential amino acid, so there is a lack of balance in the proteins. Plant foods, such as peas, beans, and grains mostly contain incomplete protein.
Complementary proteins: These refer to two or more foods containing incomplete proteins that people can combine to supply complete protein. Examples include rice and beans or bread with peanut butter.
In summary protein or Amino Acids are an essential macronutrient for your body. To obtain a complete profile of essential amino acids which are needed for the body to function, the best sources are meat, eggs and dairy products.
When we consume carbohydrates the body breaks it down into glucose. Glucose can be synthesised in the body when and if required.
Therefore carbohydrates are not essential for human health. The role of carbohydrate in the body or as it is broken down as glucose is to provide energy to the cells. The human body requires only 5 grams of glucose in the blood at any one time in the body. Unfortunately we are today regularly consuming more than our body requires most of the time. When we consume more than we need the body will excrete insulin from the pancreas to help mobilise the glucose in our blood into the cells of our body, but when the cells are full, insulin then turns into our fat storage hormone and sends excess glucose to be stored in our fat receptors for later energy requirements, the problem with that is that we never tap into the stored sources, because we now live in a society that has an abundance of food and so we always have another meal before we have used any stored energy, and so the cycle continues, eventually this continuous cycle in conjunction with poor lifestyle choices or entirely on its own, can cause insulin resistance, obesity, CSV risk, inflammatory conditions and mental health conditions.
Sources of Carbohydrates: Fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, rice, bread, cereal, legumes, sugar and sweets, milk.
In summary Carbohydrate is NOT an essential macronutrient and humans can survive without consuming carbohydrates, as the body can make its own glucose. Unfortunately a lot of carbohydrates are in ultra processed foods like cereals and breads etc. Eating carbohydrates in limited amounts from whole and unprocessed sources like leafy green vegetables is a healthy way to keep blood glucose levels stable preventing insulin resistance.